Identity management is set to top the agenda at CeBit show

Security will be top of the agenda at the CeBit exhibition and conference which opens in Hanover, Germany, later this week.

Security will be top of the agenda at the CeBit exhibition and conference which opens in Hanover, Germany, later this week. Analysts saying that identity management will be the key technology that users need to explore.

The twin issues of data compliance and identity theft would propel companies towards identity management products, said Neil Macehiter, partner at Macehiter Ward-Dutton.

"I expect to see the large vendors, all of whom are aggressively moving into the market, espousing the virtues of their identity management suites," he said.

But he added, "While on paper these vendors are positioned to provide an integrated set of offerings addressing the full range of identity management requirements, from provisioning through to audit and compliance, the reality is somewhat different.

"CeBit attendees should look to scrape off the marketing veneer and scrutinise the validity of the integration claims. Is there unified management? Is there a unified repository? Does the solution provide common workflow?"

CeBit will also feature security systems with stronger authentication using multiple means rather than just passwords.

"Vendors will be promoting solutions to increase consumer confidence and minimise risk through one-time password tokens, schemes that exploit devices such as mobile phones, and a variety of other approaches to reduce the reliance on passwords," said Macehiter.

Federated identity systems - where users can access resources across the networks of several "trusted" partners - would also feature heavily, he said, reflecting the need for organisations to collaborate with each other.

Andrew Kellett, senior research analyst at Butler Group, added, "There will be a growing importance to the identity management sector and its role across all public- and private-sector organisations."

Kellett added that as an extension of existing identity and access management models, there would be a growing need for organisations to implement systems that dealt effectively with new security threats such as phishing and pharming (redirecting users to malicious websites) and other forms of identity theft.

Expect to see the major vendors talking about "protect-against-everything" security products, said Kellett.

Such applications are being developed by CA, McAfee and Symantec, among others.

"This takes in the appliance and software-driven approaches of these vendors and covers mainstream protection products such as anti-virus, anti-spam, spyware, firewalls, and intrusion prevention and detection products," said Kellett.

Read more on IT risk management